Knowing location is an incredibly powerful tool in the biosecurity toolkit. Knowing the potential site of an incident allows for rapid containment and improved management practices.

That’s why Vinehealth Australia has been mapping every vineyard in South Australia since the early 2000s. The Vineyard Register comprises vineyard ownership and planting details as well as spatial layers mapped of individual vineyard extents.

Recently, Vinehealth Australia saw an opportunity to use its in-house GIS capability to benefit the future of the SA wine industry, by enhancing the Geographical Indication (GI) area boundaries for every South Australian wine region. These GI regions are regulated by Wine Australia, through their label integrity program.

The task involved realigning the GI boundaries outlined in the textural description of the original topographic maps, with the GIS datasets held by SA departments such as the Department of Transport and Industry and the Land Titles Office. Boundaries were aligned to attributes including land parcels, contours and drainage lines. Re-digitising these GI boundaries now provides the wine industry an opportunity to utilise these accurate digital boundaries as part of innovation projects using technology such as geofencing.

The updated South Australian GI maps can be accessed here.

Meanwhile, Vinehealth Australia CEO Inca Pearce is encouraged by the early results being shared by Wine Australia and Consilium Technology as they work to develop a technique using satellite images and advanced machine learning to detect and map vineyards across Australia.

Vinehealth Australia currently uses aerial images to create maps of each vineyard in South Australia, which are updated every three to five years. This work is time consuming and relies on our expert GIS Specialist to continually re-digitise each vineyard property.

“If the technology developed through the Wine Australia and Consilium Technology project offers advantages to Vinehealth for maintaining or improving our GIS capacity and efficiency, we are keen to look at how we can apply them to the biosecurity needs of the South Australian wine industry,” Inca said.

To read more about Wine Australia’s GAIA project, click here.